|Rushden Echo, 18th January 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden Men with the Colours
The Independent Wesleyan Church Roll of Honour
A special service on behalf of the Rushden Independent Wesleyan Church Roll of Honour, which contains the names of 212 men formerly connected with the church who are now with the Colours, was held at the High-street Church on Sunday evening. The hymns included John Oxenham’s “Lord God of Hosts,” and “Father Who art alone,” and the choir, under the conductorship of Mr. A. H. Lawson, ably rendered the anthem, “The Lord is my light.”
The Rev. C. J. Keeler read a number of extracts from letters received from the “boys” in acknowledgement of Christmas gifts. The letters were divided into three sections, viz., from those in the fighting line, from those in training camps, and from those in hospital. The minister then read the names to the number of 17 of those who had fallen, three who are on the list of missing, and four who are prisoners of war. He further referred to a number who had been wounded and discharged, and then offered special prayer on behalf of those who are still serving. During the offertory the organist, Mr. W. T. L. Flood, played as a voluntary, the popular air “Keep the home fires burning.”
Mr. Keeler based an appropriate discourse upon the words “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth to those things which are before.” He emphasised that while it was impossible to forget many things of the past, the call of Christianity was to forget all that weakens and hinders for the duties of the present, even our sorrow.
“It is a great temptation,” said Mr. Keeler, “to know sorrow and remorse to become exacting and selfish. The depressed life can make itself very depressing to others. Sometimes a mourner has sacrificed the living to the dead. If sorrow does not illumine it darkens; if it does not humble, it stiffens into pride, and closes our hearts to the comfort that might be found in the present. In forgetting the sorrow that weakens we need not forget the love, the joy, the fellowship which was ours but is lost for a time. The memory of our love, joy, and fellowship should inspire and teach us not to look backward for it but forward. All true love and fellowship is there to be found again in God in richer measure. Our beloved dead are not behindthey are in front of us. Thus the challenge of the text, forgetting the things that are behind that hinder and weaken, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”